Olympians Finish 1-2-3 In Flowers Sea Swim

Olympians Finish 1-2-3 In Flowers Sea Swim

With 882 people lined up at the start of the 21st annual Flowers Sea Swim, it was undoubtedly going to a fast 1-mile swim down Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman Island.

The elite athletes had to get a jump on the hundreds of swimmers around them. Plus, the top women were bunched up with the men at the start, so there was a lot of incentive to start the mile race with a sprint.

Brooke Bennett, the 3-time Olympic gold medalist who trains with Rebecca Mann in Florida, got off to a great start and took off with the top men, trailing by just a sliver.

Canadian Olympian Zsofia Balazs and 2012 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim silver medalist Haley Anderson took off after Bennett. There was no let-up in the pace and the two younger Olympians took chase to Bennett.

I finally saw her after halfway,” recalled Balazs who was testing out her new tech suit for the upcoming World Championship. “Brooke was with the lead group of guys, but I was not sure where the finish was. I just followed their whitewater and continued to swim as fast as possible following them towards the finish.”

The duo gradually came up and slowly edged passed Bennett to make it a three-person race. But the Canadian still had a lot in the tank. Balazs opened up a body-length lead, but she was still nervous. “I just didn’t want [the bikini-clad] Haley to go to her sprint like she did in the Olympics.

Instead Balazs answered Haley’s kick with a furious kick of her own. The Hungarian emigrant to Canada who just finished her university studies to become a police officer crossed the finish with a huge relief and a big smile.

The final results of the Top 4:

1. Zsofia Balas (Canada) 17:49.95
2. Haley Anderson (USA) 17:52.42
3. Brooke Bennett (USA) 17:54
4. Luane Rowe (Australia) 18:52

Copyright © 2013 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones